Studios Kabako Awarded 2014 Curry Stone Prize

Aimed at honoring designers who address critical social needs, the esteemed Curry Stone Design Prize was bestowed upon the Congolese dance company Studios Kabako this past weekend in Brussels, Belgium. Founded by renowned dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula in 2001, Studios Kabako uses cultural programs and theatrical urban interventions to address social memory, fear and hope in the aftermath of civil war. The theatrical troupe performs worldwide while maintaining a base in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo, where they reinvest more than a third of revenue into activities for their local community.

Studios Kabako presents art not as a form of entertainment but as a form of political empowerment. The studio uses different tools—among these, dance, theater, and music—to help local communities imagine an alternative to the hardships of daily life, and understand that they can have a hand in creating a better future.

Click here to learn more about the 2014 Curry Stone Design Prize Winner Studios Kabako, online at CurryStoneDesignPrize.com.

Watch “Nowhere To Go But Jail?”

In 2014 alone, one hundred American cities have banned sitting or lying down in public places, therefore criminalizing those without a roof over their head. As documented in the short video by Brave New Films, Salt Lake City decided to give homeless people supportive shelter instead of throwing them in jail–resulting not only in an extraordinary amount of savings on tax dollars but also returning respect back to those who were living on the street.

The city was spending $20,000 per homeless resident per year – funding for policing, arrests, jail time, shelter, and emergency services. Homelessness was not going down. Instead, for $7,800 a year through a new program called Housing First, the city could provide a person with an apartment and case management services.

Click here to read the article “Here’s What Happened When One City Gave Homeless People Shelter Instead of Throwing Them in Jail” on AlterNet.org or click here to learn more about the Housing First program on PathwaysToHousing.org.

Call for Entries to 2015 SEED Awards

 

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Following on the announcement of the 2015 Structures for Inclusion, the SEED Network, Design Corps, and the Lawrence Technological University are now accepting entries to the 5th Annual SEED Awards. Recognizing design projects with exceptional social, economic, and environmental impact, the SEED Awards represent the forces needed to create truly sustainable projects and positive change in the world. Through a competitive jury process, six projects will be selected and honored with a $1,000 prize and an all-expense-paid trip for one team representative to present at SFI 15 in Detroit. Applications are due November 20, 2014, and winners will be announced in January 2015.

SEED is a common standard to guide, evaluate and measure the social, economic and environmental impact of design projects. The Awards use the SEED Evaluator Application to collect information about projects. The evaluator is a communication tool that allows communities to define goals for design projects and then measure the success in achieving these through a third-party review by a jury.

Click here to learn more and apply for the 2015 SEED Awards, online at DesignCorps.org.

Feature: Eric Cesal Talks Architecture, Humanity, and the Future

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Gilad Meron recently spoke with Architecture for Humanity‘s Executive Director Eric Cesal about what’s on the horizon for the 15-year-old organization and the architecture profession in general.

Gilad Meron: You’ve recently become the new Executive Director of Architecture for Humanity, the first change in leadership since the organization was founded. What’s shifted since then?

Eric Cesal: I think the landscape has changed from when Architecture for Humanity was started and that presents a lot of opportunities. First we want to continue doing all the work that we’ve been doing. It’s important that we continue our practice. The world is urbanizing rapidly. Climate change is accelerating. You don’t have to be a genius or a psychic to see that disasters are becoming a new normal. The question is how can we work as preventers rather than responders. My question for the field is, over the next ten or fifteen years, what are we going to do to prevent the calamities that we know are coming as opposed to just taking advantage of bad situations and putting in good architecture?

GM: Is that the direction you want to lead Architecture for Humanity in?

EC: There are two principle goals that I want to drive the organization towards. More

“Design for Equity” Convening in November

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In partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (CSNDC), and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the Bruner Loeb Forum is hosting the “Design for Equity” forum in Boston on November 5th and 6th to “fuel ideas and solutions to achieve equitable cities through design and community development.” Using Boston as a “living laboratory,” professionals in design, community development, policy, and organizing will gather to advance strategies to bring inclusive, equitable development to American cities. Registration is now open to attend the public evening events: The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship Keynote on November 5th and Partners in Public Dialogue: Design for Equity on November 6th.

With over one hundred diverse practitioners from Boston and across the country, “Design for Equity” will draw from a network of practitioners confronting the issues of displacement and disinvestment, focusing on solutions that will allow all citizens, to thrive.

Click here to learn more and register to attend “Design for Equity” public events, online at DesignForEquity.org.

New Resource: Social Design Pathways

First developed during the 2013 Winterhouse Symposium for Education and Social Change, Social Design Pathways–a matrix to map, guide, asses, and index social innovation initiatives–was recently made public and free for download. With support from Sappi Ideas that Matter, LEAP Symposium, and Design Observer, the team has released the first iteration with a series of examples to assist designers with mapping the “range of engagement” and “scale of engagement” for projects.

The Social Design Pathways matrix is a useful tool for clarifying the terrain, stakeholders and potential impacts of social design projects. It acknowledges the fact that design for social impact, as an emerging field, can be complex and multi-dimensional, and that a process for mapping its many ingredients can be instructive and beneficial.

Click here to learn more and download a copy to map your Social Design Pathways, online at SocialDesignPathways.com.

Profile: Evidence Action

Focused on product management and growth, Evidence Action launched in 2010 to scale up two programs incubated by Innovations for Poverty Action: the Deworm the World and Dispensers for Safe Water. Each program has made a significant difference in the lives of people in Africa and Asia with Evidence Action. The Deworm the World Initiative focuses on school-based deworming. More than 600 million children worldwide live in areas endemic with intestinal parasites. These have shown to have a detrimental impact on children’s’ health and educational achievements. Deworm the World dewormed 35 million children in the last school year in India and Kenya.

In rural Eastern and Southern Africa, Dispensers for Safe Water provides access to clean, safe water to close to 3 million people, at a cost of less than $.50 per person per year at scale. One critical asset to the safe water program has been 3D product design software used to build and improve iterations of the dispenser hardware. The engineering team, led by an MIT-alumna based in Nairobi, is reliant on the software provided through the Autodesk Technology Impact program to develop the core hardware of this initiative. Essential to both programs’ success is Evidence Action’s attention to all phases of design and delivery: product development, manufacturing, and distribution down to the last few steps.

Too often, the elbow grease and artistry that take a good idea and get it embedded in communities, markets or government institutions prove elusive. Evidence Action takes on this challenge with a laser focus. We begin from the premise that achieving scale across sectors and contexts is a solvable challenge that yields sustainable impact.

Click here to learn more about Evidence Action on EvidenceAction.org, or click here to learn more and apply for the Autodesk Technology Impact software donation program, an ultra low-cost offer for the current versions of Autodesk’s professional software to nonprofit organizations using design for impact.

Video produced by South Pole Carbon.

ACD Launch New Micro Fellowship for 2015

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The Association for Community Design is launching an inaugural “micro” fellowship for 2015. In response to the need for exploratory opportunities for current practitioners, ACD has partnered with LATENT DESIGN to offer a two-week intensive position to explore the business of social design. Applications for this unique opportunity will open on October 20th and end on December 1st, 2014.

The Fellowship is design for architects looking to launch their own projects, practice or adapting their practice to be more socially engaged. The Fellow is embedded within another architecture firm working on a community design project. The firm is the host, mentor, advocate, and completely transparent how they’re executing contracts, sourcing projects, analysis, marketing, management and operations to funding models through the actualization of a project. The focus of the Fellowship is the design process and working collaboratively with the Fellow to develop their individual or firm social impact strategy.

Click here to learn more about the 2015 ACD Micro Fellowship, online at CommunityDesign.org.

“Ebola Epidemic: What Can Architecture Do?”

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The Ebola Epidemic has been peppering headlines around the world. With focus on treatment and containment to alleviate the outbreak, the role of design and architecture could be called into question. Architect Killian Doherty recently responded to the question “What Can Architecture Do?” in an opinion piece for Architectural Review. With frontline experience in Sierra Leone, Doherty describes the cultural differences for treating, healing, and coping with Ebola from both Western and Sierra Leonean perspectives and how these issues might be to big for design to take on.

The destruction of the built environment by natural or manmade disaster is clear cause for architects’ intervention, and has given rise to what we refer to as humanitarian or emergency architecture. Architectural practices and NGOs widely find opportunities to alleviate suffering through the design of infrastructure, buildings and amenities. But when the disaster itself is immaterial, without discernible physical damage, what role at all can a response through architecture play? The current Ebola crisis that has killed almost 1,200 people across West Africa is a formless natural disaster that poses questions, in this case, about the limits of this form of architectural practice.

Click here to read “Ebola Epidemic: What Can Architecture Do?” online at Architectural-Review.com.

Reminder: Support PUBLIC Journal by 10/20

Creating a name for itself by featuring thought-provoking articles and exceptional photography of meaningful projects, the new kid on the design magazine block, PUBLIC Journal, is crowdfunding on Indiegogo to support their self-publishing efforts for the third and fourth issues. Available in both print and digital format, the quarterly journal is aiming to raise $12,500 by the end of next week. In exchange for support, rewards include one-year journal subscription, t-shirts featuring a Sambo quote, a place at the launch party in San Francisco, and even the opportunity to curate your own article. The last day to pledge your support is Monday, October 20th, at 11:59 PT.

PUBLIC Journal is the brainchild of a few passionate writers, designers, architects, and contractors. PUBLIC Journal seeks to provide a larger voice for the public interest design movement, which brings light to the issues of humanitarian design, social impact projects, and community-based design organizations who are all working to leave the world a better place. The exploration of the greater good is why we have committed to providing a platform for this growing movement to reach a greater PUBLIC.

Click here to learn more and pledge your support for PUBLIC Journal by October 20th, online atIndiegogo.com.